Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Stout – 5 out of 7


Anybody ever heard of this one? Well, funny story here, 6 or 7 years ago, when I held my first smokebeer tasting ever (even before SmokeBeerMinistry), I hadn’t heard of BCBS. But my friendly beer store guy heard I was looking for smokebeers, and directed me to a 6pack of BCBS and said, “I think there’s smoke in this.” And that’s all it took. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be able to find this beer again until after an InBev aquisition, production surge, and market flooding. Nonetheless, here it is again, and I’m going to review it with a clean slate, and pretend that I never got wind of any infection smear campaign (pushback from the InBev aquisition?)


So, BCBS is not a smokebeer but it says “smoke” right there on the label. Plus, with all the strolling up and down the beer aisle that I do, I was bound to trip over some of the more highly sought after beers, so why not review it? Speaking of this label, “Intense aromas of charred oak, vanilla…” is spot on. The “caramel & smoke” parts on the other hand, could be improved upon. No big deal there, the flavors are so robust, and the booze is so boozy, that I forgot all about the underfunded smoke aroma. BCBS makes me glad I’ve been able to come around to the barrel aging. These flavors work together to deliver perfectly added luxury. I am also picking up some chocolaty flavors on my alcohol induced tingling tongue. This good, rich beer should be poured into a snifter, but I’m perfectly happy with my 06/13 marker level on this big glass. Overall happiness metric for this great night capper beer = 5 out of 7 smokestacks.

Brewer Goose Island
Beer Name Bourbon County Brand Stout
Brewer’s Description Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hold with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. A great cigar beer.
Food Pairings deep dish pizza?
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 14.2%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 60
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 7
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2.5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5

A couple of add-on metrics:

Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 7
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 6

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About SmokeBeerMinistry

I like beers that taste like smoke.
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